“I was in another country, I didn’t speak the language, and it was a time for me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” said Jameelah Jordan, founder of Memphis-based Mozak.
After graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in biochemistry, Jameelah Jordan, like many of her peers, was unhappy navigating the post-college U.S. market job that left many graduates feeling trapped in positions for which they were overqualified and underpaid.
But the Raleigh, North Carolina-native’s course changed direction in 2014, when her husband, Kevin, a product manager for a manufacturer of automation equipment, was transferred by his company to Europe.
The newlyweds first lived in Italy before relocating to Finland. Jordan said few places could offer an opportunity for deep reflection on one’s life quite like a cold, dark, snowy winter in a far-off land.
Jameelah Jordan, CEO and co-founder of Mozak.
“I was in another country, I didn’t speak the language, and it was a time for me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” Jordan said.
Though the adjustment to Finnish life was challenging, the sense of solitude gave Jordan time and space to figure out how she would forge her own path.
Many millennials Jordan knew back in the U.S. were launching their own startups, but their struggles balancing day-to-day operations with trying to manage administrative tasks was hindering their chances of success.
In May of 2016, from her home in Finland, Jordan launched her startup, Mozak Virtual Assistant Company, as a solution to give entrepreneurs back their time so they can focus on growing their business.
Mozak differs from other virtual assistant companies because it offers virtual project management tools. Customers connect with assistants and keep track of their clients’ needs through an app that uses A.I. integration.
“If your office is at home or in your car, you shouldn’t have to miss out on all those benefits,” Jordan said. “We’re giving you an office and making sure your administrative needs are being met, and you can focus on leads and maybe have more time with your family, as well.”
Sixth months ago, the Jordans relocated to Memphis where they’re now expanding the company and intend to stay.
Kevin Jordan serves as Mozak’s chief finance officer, with chief technology officer Justin Jackson and customer success manager Tamara Reed rounding out the leadership team.
After meeting Jameelah Jordan at a conference, Mozak client Jermia Jerdine hired the company to handle tasks, such as creating templates, sending emails and managing social media, for her Memphis-based nonprofit, Fresh Start Kidz.
Jerdine’s organization promotes healthy lifestyle choices for families with kids, providing information about affordable organic foods, farmer’s markets and urban gardens, and educating them about the risks associated with poor nutritional habits.
Justin Jackson, CTO and co-founder of Mozak in an office space at Start Co. in Downtown Memphis.
“I’m not a techie person,” Jerdine said. “Before Mozak it was me literally doing everything. Now I don’t have to think about any of that. They do an excellent job of fulfilling all of those tasks.”
Although Mozak has served clients from other sectors, their business model has now shifted to focus exclusively on serving real estate agents. In fact, the company is specifically hiring licensed real estate agents to work as virtual assistants. Those include retirees and parents who prefer working remotely and have unique insight into the detailed needs of real estate agents.
Reed was working as a real estate agent when she hired Mozak, and she was so impressed with the services, she joined the team.
“I knew the product worked,” she said. “My business increased because I could focus on it while they handled things I didn’t have time for, like social media. A lot of agents need to leave the busy work to someone else, but they might not have the discretionary income to hire someone full time.”
Mozak currently has about 20 independent contractors and, from its headquarters in Memphis, plans to expand its services to other markets and use more contractors who will have specialized knowledge of real estate to provide clients with the best service possible.
Jameelah Jordan, CEO and co-founder of Mozak at Start Co. in Downtown Memphis.
“We’re trying to be trailblazers with this product and continue innovating while meeting our clients’ needs,” Reed said. “We want to give agents back time in their day. Coming from a real estate background, I can relate to that need.”
Jordan said Memphis has played an integral role in Mozak’s success. She’s found solid support in Start Co., a nonprofit venture development organization that promotes entrepreneurship with a focus on digital startups.
“Memphis has been a helping hand, and I value Start Co. and the people who came before us, who so willingly give of their knowledge, mentorship and guidance,” she said. “I really appreciate that about Memphis. It’s very community driven and people want you to succeed. You can’t find a support system like that everywhere.”
The Midtown resident says that, in the short time she’s lived here, Memphis has given her tremendous professional opportunities and become a home for her and her husband.
“It’s one of those places where everyone clicks and it’s low key,” Jordan said. “I love the local restaurants and coffee shops. We just have a lot of local love here in Memphis.”